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A Gracious & Generous Gift

A true gift is given without expectations, like a grace. I've received so many of them in my life, you think I'd be more gracious in receiving. This past weekend broke me open to a whole new capacity because that grace showed up in everything I saw around me. I felt like God had kept track of my loves and reflected them back to me in a perpetual experience. Even down to the type of coffee that my friend served, and the behavior of the stray cat whose affection arrested me because he looked like my beloved cat Gracie that I left almost seven years ago, when I couldn't care for myself, let alone a cat.

I met some new friends recently, and took a road trip to spend time with them last weekend. In their presence I felt seen; that I mattered, and where I had been before our time together was all material that prepared me to receive this blessing. Since I recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body, I have had occasion to feel what "good" felt like, but now I know an aspect of bliss. Bliss is effortless beauty and resonance. Something mysterious is alive and awake within me and it communicates among others who pay attention. What a gracious and generous gift.

It's humbling to discover another layer of wounding that has kept me hostage to the idea that I'm not good enough, or that I have to earn my way into this beauty. I'm not alone in this either; most people I know in recovery speak from these wounds too. But, mercy beckons, if we are vulnerable and honest. That's what I found out anyway, and I'd like to shout it from the rooftops, but it can't really be heard; it's felt in the heart. A broken one will do.

Come to me, all of you who are heavy laden; my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Easy? Light?

What a revelation. One of the greatest fears that I had, but didn't realize, was that I would be punished for all of my mistaken steps, so I shut down the capacity to pay attention, and punished myself. It must have been painful for the angels to watch. I know it was painful for those that loved me to watch too. But, an aspect of grace is also the respectful wait for me to ask for their help, or simply their presence. I never realized that it could be so easy, but I know it is today.

I can't stop anyone from hurting themselves or others, but I can tell you that I was able to stop doing that, at least consciously at first. I was met by grace and love like a prodigal daughter invited to a banquet, and wrapped in a precious robe.

So, if you don't believe that it can happen to you too, maybe you could believe that I believe. I've heard many lovely people say that to others they hope will come alive again.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Immersed in the fragrant transition of nature, I was in rapture as I watched leaves fall, felt the sun on my skin and caught an occasional acorn as it fell from the trees. There is a mystery about what looks like death and decay, and nature shows it to us. Those falling seeds will grow in the ground and become a new tree, after a time of deep darkness we call winter.

Deep darkness in us is a part of the process of becoming new, if we allow it. I am eternally grateful that I have experienced both. Life is beautiful, and I can finally see that almost everywhere in everything.

And, one of all time favorite songs from Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence. Here's the link

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